The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

Latinx community celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with dining, cultural events

Hispanic Heritage Month events bring W&L students together to celebrate Latinx culture
Jessica Pachuca
Joaquín Villagran, ‘26, tabling at the kick-off event on Cannan Green.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article in the print edition and on web had an incorrect spelling of the writer’s name.

On Sep.15, students gathered to kick-off Hispanic Heritage Month at Washington and Lee University.

Hosted by the Comunidad Latina Estudiantil (CLE) and W&L’s Office of Inclusion and Engagement (OIE), the event allowed students to connect with multicultural organizations, meet new people and enjoy Hispanic food and music.

Sarah Stockton, ’26, said that attending cultural events is “a really easy way to get involved and learn more about all the different cultures that are present at W&L’s campus.”

Hispanic Heritage Month honors the contributions, histories, and cultures of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

The idea of celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States was first introduced by California congressman George E. Brown in 1968, during the peak of the civil rights movement. During this time, the highly populated Latino communities of East Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley pushed to be recognized for their role in building American society and its history.

As a response, a law recognizing “Hispanic Heritage Week” was passed under former President Lyndon B. Johnson on Aug. 17, 1968. The week was later expanded to a 30-day period in 1988 by former President Ronald Reagan.

It’s unclear when the celebration started at Washington and Lee, but in recent years, CLE has used it to encourage inclusivity and visibility for all Latinx students on campus.

Members of CLE and OIE kick-off the event on Cannan Green. (Jessica Pachuca)

This year, CLE has a month full of different activities ahead which all students are encouraged to attend. They’re meant to facilitate supportive relationship in the community and raise cultural awareness on campus.

“People should come to our carne asadas, they should come to our talks,” said Yereni Bruno-Sanchez, ’26, a CLE executive team member. “Get involved in different organizations just to learn.”

The biggest event, Baile, will happen on Saturday, Sep. 30 in Evans Hall. It represents Latinx culture on campus through specific music, dances and food. The tickets are available online and at tables in front of Elrod Commons Sept. 25-27.

On Oct. 4, CLE will host an annual dinner with Latinx-identifying professors and students at 6 p.m. in the Hotchkiss Alumni house. It highlights the supportive relationship between faculty and students and provides them with opportunities to connect.

Traditional Sunset Drive to Blue Ridge Parkway will happen on Oct. 7. Students get together to enjoy music, food and scenic views of the mountains.

Other student organizations collaborate with CLE to host events to honor Hispanic Heritage Month. On Oct. 8, Friday Night Underground and Pluma, Washington and Lee’s Spanish language literary magazine, will co-host a themed FUDG at 8 p.m. in the Arc House.

For more information about upcoming events, follow CLE on Instagram (@wlu.cle).

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